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Educational Software Thread, Implemeting an ISA Server in Technical; I am looking at a number of options as an alternative to our Censornet problem. I am favouring a Microsoft ...
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    Lipjam's Avatar
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    Implemeting an ISA Server

    I am looking at a number of options as an alternative to our Censornet problem. I am favouring a Microsoft solution but as I have not used it before I would like some advice/opinions on its setup, implemtation & use. Is it a proper OS or does it need Win2K3?

    I will also need a web filtering piece of software. Any suggestions for a lowcost/ free solution to work with ISA would be gratefullty received.

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    Re: Implemeting an ISA Server

    ISA isn't an OS, it's an additional package. You will require W2K3.

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    Re: Implemeting an ISA Server

    Doing your own filtering is a nightmare, liability wise - does your LA provide a service you could buy into? Its one of those things that its nice to blame the LA for, if the kids start browsing porn, having your own box might get messy if you are filtering to a different standard than other schools in your LA.

    If you still want ISA to use as a proxy, its pretty idiot proof to setup and configure, all wizard based. ISA is an application that installs as a service on Windows server.

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    Re: Implemeting an ISA Server

    We're not governed by the LA anymore, only slightly, our filtering is NWT InteliGuard. It isn't bad, not too pricey, and works relatively stably.

    http://www.inteliguard.net/default.a...d.net/home.asp

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    Re: Implemeting an ISA Server

    If you use a becta approved filtering solution you'd be ok surely?

    Ben

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    Re: Implemeting an ISA Server

    We use ISA 2004 Standard + Server 2K3 here.
    We have SmartFilter (www.securecomputing.com) and it has been the best and cheapest filtering we have come across so far. Simple to use and the new version (4.2) has some really nice features such as forcing safe-mode searches on google and yahoo.
    It also comes bundled with logging software (web based) which is really nice and simple to use.

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    Lipjam's Avatar
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    Re: Implemeting an ISA Server

    Our LA is encouraging schools to move away from getting Internet services from them .They want us to do our own Internet. At the moment we do our own filtering & Firewall with Censornet but it's proving unreliable. Thanks for the suggestions.

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    Re: Implemeting an ISA Server

    Were i work (CLC) we use websence, that provides filtering for roughly 30 schools. It seems to be very relable. Before that we were using Smartfilter & Bess

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    Re: Implemeting an ISA Server

    Lipjam: SmoothWall's "Guardian" solution is in the process of becoming BECTA accredited, and will be one of very few that are. I know there are a few of our customers lurking on here, and I am sure they will comment on our suitability or otherwise.

    We'd happily provide you with an evaluation - either just the web filter, or firewall + whole package.

    If you definitely want to go the ISA route you will have to add your own filtering, be that surfy, or smartfilter or whatever. ISA is considered a pretty poor firewall however, so I would caution against using it as your 1st skin if you take that route.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Re: Implemeting an ISA Server

    Thats my cue.

    Tada

    We have Smoothwall Corporate Guardian 5 and moving to 6 for our filtering solution and intend to opt out of the LEA's

    It does exactly what it says on the tin and the smoothwall family are nice people to deal with.

    Ben

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    Re: Implemeting an ISA Server

    Cheers plexer we do try our best!

    I'm interested to know where lipjam's LA that's *encouraging* this sort of thing is... first time I have heard of such a thing happening!n Usually they are a bit recalcitrant.

    WRT responsibility - I know some peole say "oh i'd rather be able to blame the LA/RBC" but has anyone ever seen these people take the blame for an incident -- i'll bet the firey poker ends up in the local netman's eye, not some ivory tower RBC type

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    Re: Implemeting an ISA Server

    @tom_newton

    ISA is considered a pretty poor firewall however, so I would caution against using it as your 1st skin if you take that route.
    I don't agree with statement, its a far better firewall than some of the so called HW firewall/packet filters. Just because runs on top of a MS os and software based is not a good or for that matter a valid reason to call it poor.

    I agree that one should have simple packet filter firewall at the first ring to cut own the real garbage and nasty stuff but for SPI etc and deep packet inspection its very good (isa server).

    Tom can you provide few points on why you think isa is a poor firewall please I am curious to know becaue we have got it running here (ever since we moved away from our RBC two years ago now) and its been fine and have not had any problems, we are using at the perimeter.

    Ashok.

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    Re: Implemeting an ISA Server

    Quote Originally Posted by ashok
    @tom_newton

    ISA is considered a pretty poor firewall however, so I would caution against using it as your 1st skin if you take that route.
    I don't agree with statement, its a far better firewall than some of the so called HW firewall/packet filters. Just because runs on top of a MS os and software based is not a good or for that matter a valid reason to call it poor.

    I agree that one should have simple packet filter firewall at the first ring to cut own the real garbage and nasty stuff but for SPI etc and deep packet inspection its very good (isa server).

    Tom can you provide few points on why you think isa is a poor firewall please I am curious to know becaue we have got it running here (ever since we moved away from our RBC two years ago now) and its been fine and have not had any problems, we are using at the perimeter.
    Was about to ask the same. Let it be heard ISA 2004 has NEVER had a remote hack yet as far as I have heard. No exploits, nothing....
    Can other firewalls say that all the time?
    It also provides extremely granular VPN access which is a breeze to setup.

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    Re: Implemeting an ISA Server

    It's not so much that the firewall is bad, it's more that its a general purpose server OS being used as a perimeter firewall.

    When we use Linux, we take the kernel, make alterations, and then careflly chose the other tools we add.

    When you use ISA, you're basically taking a stock server OS and trying to make it fit for purpose - not a great idea. As long as you're doing *something* outside of it, then i'd say yes, fine, use it for the stateful inspection/app layer stuff, but i'd never put it direct onto my router.

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    Re: Implemeting an ISA Server

    Just to add to that - i wouldn't advocate using debian or redhat as a firewall either, for the same reason.

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